The Ethics Code seeks to avoid harm and protect autonomy, informed by solid clinical thinking and good research. Stephen Behnke APA Ethics Director December 2004, Vol 35, No.11 Print version: page 76 The APA Ethical Principles of Psychologists and Code of Conduct--our ethics code--consists of general principles and standards of conduct, as its title reveals.As a profession, we have learned all too well the harms that occur when psychologists become sexually involved with their clients.The harms are so clear that our code, like the codes of all major mental health organizations, absolutely prohibits such involvements.In post-termination relationships, however, given the passage of time, the harm becomes less certain and the likelihood that a client's autonomy will be compromised less clear.Here we see the important relationship between the ethical and the empirical: To clarify and deepen the ethical analysis, we must examine these relationships in light of data.
Time may attenuate the intensity and even the likelihood that an involvement will result in harm.
Third, standard 10.08 illustrates how our ethics and our evidence can be closely related.
Over time, data may emerge that speak to the questions above in a manner that recommends an absolute prohibition against post-termination sexual involvements.
It’s OK to put your best foot forward, and also to be a bit cautious, but have the courage to be upfront and show who you are. Talking too much about your ex: While this information will eventually be shared at least to some extent, it shouldn’t be discussed in detail during the initial phase of a relationship.
You want to get to know the person and each have a chance for a fresh start.